Content Aware media news: December 7, 2023

Published: 08 December 2023

Did Google do a bit of a rollback on the HCU

Whispers of an HCU tweak, ad spend waste, and trust in news - all in this week's Content Aware.

A quiet rollback of the uHCU?
Has Google done a rollback of some kind on the recent 'Helpful' Content Update which caused so much concern from site owners? There's nothing official, but SEO hawk Barry Schwartz espies some unusual signs. Maybe just a coincidence, but equally - as always - keep an eye on your traffic.

All that ad spend, all that waste
No happy reading in this ad industry report which suggests barely a third of ad spend reaches the intended audience. On the bright side, at least some of those who see ads are human...

Tip: tell readers if serving them AI content
To sum up: readers don't particularly like fully AI-generated content and want to know when they are seeing it.

Corbidge comments on... the question of trust

When it comes to trust in news, and trust in a publisher's content overall, openness of creator and sources is key. Once trust is left to chance or lost, it can be hard to win back and prove devastating for a brand says our trusted contentmeister Rob, by way of a semi-sentient truck.

The enemy of my enemy and all that
As the AI war between Google and Microsoft heats up , and the publishing industry in its path does its best not to get squashed by accident or design - Ricky Sutton argues that opting to deal with Microsoft is the publishing industry's most viable Plan B.

Something in the water
East coast USA dominates the upper reaches of the new Press Gazette list of the largest English-language subscription titles in the world. Do you figure in the results?

Pulling at Threads
X is having another wobble after Musk's four-letter message to advertisers (sweary link). How is the obvious alternative, Threads, shaping up for those who ventured into the arms of the Meta-owned rival?

Spanish media says enough
Spanish publishers launch into a €550m dispute with Meta over claimed ad market manipulation which says ownership of multiple platforms gave it an unfair advantage on setting ad rates, and also over misuse of data.

Social media's policy detective
Curious or investigatory about the changes and history in social media platform policies? Check the helpful Platform Governance Archive for changes, such as Twitter's recent amendment which seems to water down violent speech policies.

Insight into the unknown
Ever wondered how a Google algorithm actually works? Here is as much as insight as we can hope for, short of an unsealing of court documents.

Missed previous editions? Catch-up with them here.